Do we have a Boinc virus?


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Profile Michael Buckingham
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Message 242804 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 6:07:42 UTC - in response to Message 242802.

I applaud this proposal. For the more paranoid, I'd allow hiding the OS version, but that's about all. There is indeed no reason to hide the hosts, unless you cheat in some way or install BOINC illegally on computers without permission.


I am very disppointed to see this kind of remark. To make this kind of generalization is not very responsible.

If an issue or irregularity occurs w/a user's account, the staff @ Berkeley can easily review the account's hosts, OS, etc. It is not our responsibility to monitor user's accounts..(we are contributing to science, right?!?!)

The purpose of "hidden" hosts is meant for privacy. If a user wishes not to share this kind of information with the public, they should be entitled to this choice.

The issues in this thread have become clouded, and "hidden" computers has nothing to do with a potential Boinc trojan/worm.


I find it more irresponsible to just stick our heads in the sand and pretend that Seti@Home have the time and resources to monitor. We can and should police each other.

There is no privacy in hiding your computers, as there is no personal information displayed to begin with.

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Message 242805 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 6:20:47 UTC

I don't have the time to monitor 300,000 + accounts so please let some off them stay hidden. :-p
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Message 242835 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 8:47:01 UTC

I found this interesting googling his name. It comes back with an e-mail account for a UK company,, that just happens to be a sub division of a germany company.

Interesting connection I say


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Message 242842 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 9:19:20 UTC - in response to Message 242627.

i believe, 99,999999 percent of the users of BOINC are trustworthy.



Hmm, interesting concept, with 381000 SETI users, this implies only 0.00381, or of 1/262, part of a single user is untrustworthy.

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Message 242894 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 14:16:26 UTC - in response to Message 242802.
Last modified: 5 Feb 2006, 14:29:41 UTC

The purpose of "hidden" hosts is meant for privacy. If a user wishes not to share this kind of information with the public, they should be entitled to this choice.
Can you tell us what privacy is violated by publishing the number of hosts and their RAC, and couple of other anonymous details? And what privacy reasons would one have for hiding them, other than cheating or using the computers illegally?

I admit that I am rather paranoid as for security and privacy in Internet goes, but really do not see any reason for hiding my PC's in BOINC. If you wish staying anonymous, make sure you chose an anonymous alias. If you fear that posting on borads may help someone identifying you, create another alias for the boards only.

Well, I think I have a solution for those who necessarilly want to stay privy: let's allow complete hiding of the account. It means people who decide to stay anonymous will not appear in any charts or statistics at all. They will be in no teams either. They will be simply nowhere mentioned at all, and will never figure in any statistics or listings at all either, not even as an anonymous number - that should fully satisfy any privacy concerns and still avoid most of the cheating that is quite likely caused by greed for credits. And it will satisfy those who do not like the idea that there are cheaters and crooks among the stat leaders, or even maybe in their own team.


I don't have the time to monitor 300,000 + accounts so please let some off them stay hidden. :-p
Nobody asks you. You can bet though that some of the >300000 users will find the time to look at least at couple of suspects.


How would un-hiding someone’s computers help in telling if they are up to something fishy?
If someone's computer gets RAC of 20,000, it is fishy. Maybe not impossible, but fishy, unless we have an explanation. If someone has 30,000 hosts, it is fishy - it is not easily imaginable that an individual could have or control such amount of computers. Not impossible, but fishy. If someone shows up with computers of 20 CPU's each it is fishy. Not impossible, but fishy,... If someones computer permanently claim unexplainable high credits, especially in projects with low quorum, then it is extremely fishy,... etc. etc.

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Profile MikeProject donor
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Message 242927 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 15:32:40 UTC

Hi

You hit the nail on his head.
Totally agree.

regards Mike

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Message 242938 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 15:55:46 UTC
Last modified: 5 Feb 2006, 16:04:01 UTC

Well, as has been pointed out, the main goal of the current production projects is to give the general public a means to give scientists a hand in some of their gnarlier computational problems on a voluntary, donation basis. A 'Stone has no intrinsic value, other than what the participant(s) place on it.

On the other hand, since credit is granted as a carrot to encourage participation, every reasonable effort should be taken to ensure the book keeping is as fair and accurate as possible. This current issue has demonstrated the SAH team intends to enforce the rules and policies they have established for the project whenever violations are brought to light and can be *proven*.

This means whether or not the number or performance of a participants equipment seems "fishy" or not to some other group of participants is irrelevant to the standard SAH *must* apply when they investigate or even choose to investigate.

Likewise, the BOINC team decided it was desirable to be able to allow participants to hide all data about their participation if they so choose, and rightfully so. I could go along with a rule change that in order for your account to be published and ranked in the publicly available individual, host, and team stats you must allow viewing of the equipment online.

On the other hand, you have this current situation where Mr. Geise has been thoroughly dissed here in a public forum, based on circumstantial evidence regardless of how "apparent" it may appear, in spite of the fact Matt has stepped in a couple of times to attempt to tone down the rhetoric.

Until one starts getting royalty checks from Berkeley, do you think it is wise to be starting the "SETI Inquisition" over something as stupid as Cobblestones?

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Message 242941 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 16:00:12 UTC

Kinda like NEZ and his 301,000 RAC.

Suspect...but I heard he's legit.
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Message 242942 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 16:00:53 UTC

Regarding policing others: If anyone has the time and interest in doing so, so be it. No disagreement here.

When discussing "hidden" computers. This particuar issue regarding a trojan/worm was not discovered because of this.

I am in disagreement when one says that anyone who choses to have their computers "hidden" is guilty of cheating.

Not wanting the public to see number of systems, what types of CPU, OS and breakdown of credits is certainly a choice of privacy. Otherwise Berkeley would have never given users the discretion of keeping this information private.

Certainly this issue will have differences of opinion. Fortunately this forum allows us to voice our differences of opinion. :)
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Message 242946 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 16:03:36 UTC - in response to Message 242942.


I am in disagreement when one says that anyone who choses to have their computers "hidden" is guilty of cheating.


I don't recall anyone saying that.

I do however suscribe to the idea that if someone has an ungodly amount of RAC,(301,000) that hiding the computers might seem suspect. But that's all it is, suspect.

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Message 242951 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 16:07:21 UTC - in response to Message 242946.
Last modified: 5 Feb 2006, 16:08:18 UTC


I am in disagreement when one says that anyone who choses to have their computers "hidden" is guilty of cheating.


I don't recall anyone saying that.

I do however suscribe to the idea that if someone has an ungodly amount of RAC,(301,000) that hiding the computers might seem suspect. But that's all it is, suspect.


I think due to this incident it's now guilt by association, or at least heading that way.

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Message 242954 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 16:13:22 UTC - in response to Message 242771.

@Michael Buckingham my latest posts are in response to this statement.

I applaud this proposal. For the more paranoid, I'd allow hiding the OS version, but that's about all. There is indeed no reason to hide the hosts, unless you cheat in some way or install BOINC illegally on computers without permission.


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Message 243059 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 18:56:31 UTC

I'm really wondering if this NEZ guy isn't also using BOINC as a trojan payload package. Typically within the standings you should see an even progression of RAC and total credit. But his completely outclasses the #2 position of each (especally now that the alleged virus guy is gone.) Let's look at this.

(Values rounded off)

NEZ #1 in total credit: 54 million
University of Oulu #2 : 7 million

NEZ #1 in RAC: 301 thousand
Fermilab Farm #2: 64 thousand

(error in looking Fermilab's computers, can't read ../cache/cc/hosts_user.php_userid%3D40%26show_all%3D0; lastmod 1139159036)

He's ignored all questions about his computers also. If this doesn't look like cheating I don't know what does. At the very least I think Matt L should take a look at the IP addresses of the hosts sending in these results and see if we have the same issue as before.
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Message 243064 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 18:58:59 UTC - in response to Message 242942.

I am in disagreement when one says that anyone who choses to have their computers "hidden" is guilty of cheating.

Not wanting the public to see number of systems, what types of CPU, OS and breakdown of credits is certainly a choice of privacy. Otherwise Berkeley would have never given users the discretion of keeping this information private
You do not want the information to be public? Sure, you can have your privacy if desired. You have your full right for it. No problem, but disappear from the listings and stats completely! It's as simple as that.

Kinda like NEZ and his 301,000 RAC.
Suspect...but I heard he's legit.
No, as you can see in the discussion below, it's an urband legend that someone has shown he is legit. Well, of course, unless proven guilty, he is innocent, but nobody offered any explanation of his high RAC, and his only single post on this board was completely off-topic (Misfit's Babe of the Day), where he ignored questions about his RAC with no comments. I am sorry, but I have real troubles understanding that a single person can control several (possibly many) thousands of computers to achieve such a RAC. To me a Trojan in style of Carsten Giese is the most apparent explanation. See more arguments below. Of course, I may be very well wrong, and that's why I would love that he posts some explanation or that BOINC team looks at him closer - but I understand they have other things to do, than policing abusers.




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Message 243066 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 19:00:16 UTC - in response to Message 243059.

I'm really wondering if this NEZ guy isn't also using BOINC as a trojan payload package. Typically within the standings you should see an even progression of RAC and total credit. But his completely outclasses the #2 position of each (especally now that the alleged virus guy is gone.) Let's look at this.

(Values rounded off)

NEZ #1 in total credit: 54 million
University of Oulu #2 : 7 million

NEZ #1 in RAC: 301 thousand
Fermilab Farm #2: 64 thousand

(error in looking Fermilab's computers, can't read ../cache/cc/hosts_user.php_userid%3D40%26show_all%3D0; lastmod 1139159036)

He's ignored all questions about his computers also. If this doesn't look like cheating I don't know what does. At the very least I think Matt L should take a look at the IP addresses of the hosts sending in these results and see if we have the same issue as before.


this is turning into a witch hunt now

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Message 243093 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 19:25:34 UTC - in response to Message 243064.

No, as you can see in the discussion below, it's an urband legend that someone has shown he is legit. Well, of course, unless proven guilty, he is innocent, but nobody offered any explanation of his high RAC, and his only single post on this board was completely off-topic (Misfit's Babe of the Day), where he ignored questions about his RAC with no comments. I am sorry, but I have real troubles understanding that a single person can control several (possibly many) thousands of computers to achieve such a RAC. To me a Trojan in style of Carsten Giese is the most apparent explanation. See more arguments below. Of course, I may be very well wrong, and that's why I would love that he posts some explanation or that BOINC team looks at him closer - but I understand they have other things to do, than policing abusers.

I have some 40+ machines in my farm, thanks mainly to the CPUs at my work and most of my RAC comes from 25-30 of the machines.
It has always surprised me that I've managed to get to #6 in RAC with what I consider to be a good few machines rather than lots of machines. I have no reason to doubt the legitimacey of NEZ and in fact I would expect there to be more people with that sort of RAC. Some people just have access to hundreds of machines.

You do not want the information to be public? Sure, you can have your privacy if desired. You have your full right for it. No problem, but disappear from the listings and stats completely! It's as simple as that.

Why??
This smacks of do it my way or no way.
The rankings list everybody, why would you want to remove people that want to keep their computers hidden. If I chose to hide my computers why should I be removed from the listings?

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Message 243094 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 19:25:44 UTC - in response to Message 243066.

this is turning into a witch hunt now

While we're at it let's release all convicted computer hackers from prison because in the beginning they were also the victim of a 'witch hunt'.

Put that in any color you want.

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Message 243097 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 19:29:01 UTC - in response to Message 243094.
Last modified: 5 Feb 2006, 19:30:37 UTC

this is turning into a witch hunt now

While we're at it let's release all convicted computer hackers from prison because in the beginning they were also the victim of a 'witch hunt'.

Put that in any color you want.


ok here it is in green

is turning into a witch hunt now

Everyone who who has got a high score is now getting branded of as dodgy just because computers are hidden time to get a grip folks
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Message 243102 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 19:30:24 UTC - in response to Message 243097.

this is turning into a witch hunt now

While we're at it let's release all convicted computer hackers from prison because in the beginning they were also the victim of a 'witch hunt'.

Put that in any color you want.


ok here it is in green

[color=green is turning into a witch hunt now[/color]

nope, you had to go and mess it up. :(

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Message 243104 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 19:32:48 UTC - in response to Message 243097.
Last modified: 5 Feb 2006, 19:50:14 UTC

Everyone

well there's a lie.

Edit: let's blame it all on Skynet and call it a day.

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